Understanding Fly Lines

Hardrar

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On another note. Does anyone have a hot tip about how to remember what line you have on what spool?

Some reels have indicators but most seem not too. I've also seen wide elastic rings that hold the line in place and have WF 5 F written on them - are they homemade?
I have used a code for years applied about 6 inches from the tip. Number of Pantone or fine Sharpie dots for line weight and then a dash for WF or a dot away from the group for DT. It doesn’t tell you the brand of course. Black still shows up on dark green sinkers.
Cortland now print the line spec on the tips of theirs.
On the complex subject of lines- has anyone used the OPST single handed commando lines?
Brilliant idea but very costly and complex, sort of turns the traditional line technology on its head (pardon the pun) with the extremely short heads.
 
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GEK79

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I think the circumstances dictate, for me its about back cast space because that is what I don't have for longer casts, so short head and shoot rather than long belly to carry a long line, others might have completely different circumstances to dictate, using a lot of roll casts, short river casts, boat fishing, all must set up a different set of circumstances needing or suiting a different line profile.

Complex but this is this is the stuff the beginner doesn't know before buying a line.
As usual I've been following the thread with great interest. Mr ohanzee may I ask is there a line to suit all the different lake terrains we have as my lough I fish has plenty of room for back casting.. But next season I'm moving and the 2p loughs near me have everhbferrain in the world.. Is there one line that I can use for back casting roll casting casting whikst stood on all terrains. As I know lots of guys here have lots of experience possibly yourself and tangled may be able to help me please. And any other useful input from all is welcome.
Thanks in advance Gary.
 

andygrey

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As usual I've been following the thread with great interest. Mr ohanzee may I ask is there a line to suit all the different lake terrains we have as my lough I fish has plenty of room for back casting.. But next season I'm moving and the 2p loughs near me have everhbferrain in the world.. Is there one line that I can use for back casting roll casting casting whikst stood on all terrains. As I know lots of guys here have lots of experience possibly yourself and tangled may be able to help me please. And any other useful input from all is welcome.
Thanks in advance Gary.
Just to jump in here... there are probably a lot of lines that I would recommend are NOT suitable for your criteria but it's very difficult to recommend one that is! So much depends on your rod, casting style, basic ability etc. Some people might recommend a short head, some a long rear taper. Simple answer is to try a few different lines on your rod and see which one you like best but I realise that this isn't always practical.
 
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GEK79

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Just to jump in here... there are probably a lot of lines that I would recommend are NOT suitable for your criteria but it's very difficult to recommend one that is! So much depends on your rod, casting style, basic ability etc. Some people might recommend a short head, some a long rear taper. Simple answer is to try a few different lines on your rod and see which one you like best but I realise that this isn't always practical.
I'd say I'm an average caster awaiting a few lessons.. Like wise I like Barrio lines they are what I know and enjoy.. My roll casting is okay.. So possibly a barrio of sorts to cater all casting situations perhaps??
 

Tangled

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I'd say I'm an average caster awaiting a few lessons.. Like wise I like Barrio lines they are what I know and enjoy.. My roll casting is okay.. So possibly a barrio of sorts to cater all casting situations perhaps??
I use the Barrio GT90 for everything - roll casting on rivers, overhead on stillwaters and boats, everything. Seems to work ok to me. Whether there are better lines to do each or whether there's a better general purpose line is what I'm trying to get to. If there are better lines for specific purposes, do you need to be an excellent caster to find them?
 
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GEK79

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I use the Barrio GT90 for everything - roll casting on rivers, overhead on stillwaters and boats, everything. Seems to work ok to me. Whether there are better lines to do each or whether there's a better general purpose line is what I'm trying to get to. If there are better lines for specific purposes, do you need to be an excellent caster to find them?
I don't know the answer to that lad but what I was trying to understand was there a line to suit all circumstances whether I have a football pitch behind me to get a back cast and then walk around the other side of the lake to be faced with a small shore and cliffs. I will look for a GT90 as I'm a barrio fan. Maybe there will be other opinions about an all rounder. And I do need lessons to improve my casting.. Don't we all??
 

Tangled

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I don't know the answer to that lad but what I was trying to understand was there a line to suit all circumstances whether I have a football pitch behind me to get a back cast and then walk around the other side of the lake to be faced with a small shore and cliffs. I will look for a GT90 as I'm a barrio fan. Maybe there will be other opinions about an all rounder. And I do need lessons to improve my casting.. Don't we all??
Invest in the lessons first, that'll make the biggest difference and it's forever.
 
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GEK79

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Invest in the lessons first, that'll make the biggest difference and it's forever.
Once I can travel I've sourced an option closer to me.. So its on the list.. Thanks for a great thread as always..
 

Tangled

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Objections?

So which line for which purpose?
This is where it all gets very messy.

The majority of the stuff that came before this section was factual. But when we get to the critical decision about what line to buy for the type of fishing you do, it turns out to be of limited use. If you read the thread behind this post, you'll see that we have so far failed to arrive at a set of prescriptions.

The main reason we find ourselves here is that apart from information of profile shapes, there is precisely zero objective information on the what lines actually DO. You will never find proper objective testing by the manufacturer on the differences claimed for their lines. They're heavy on subjective descriptions -

- Long front taper turns over flies with delicacy and precision
- Extended head and back taper increases loop control when carrying long lengths of line
- Long head for ultimate casting control
- Front biased weight to load rods at close range

- but are entirely absent of objective measurement. Because there is no doubt that if a manufacturer COULD quantify these claims, they absolutely would, we must assume that these claims can't be quantified.

So, what we arrive at are a lot of subjective qualifiers and opinion.

The biggest qualifier appears to be how good you are at casting. When you get really good you may be able to feel the subjective differences in the more specialist lines.

But conversely as you progress there are possibly some line profiles that are slightly better than others. A heavier forward weighted head seems to help the beginner as the caster can feel the load a little easier for example.

One thing we haven't touched on - because this is about lines - are rods. We have assumed that the rod manufacturer get their line weightings right. This is by no means a given, it's far more of a subjective affair than you would imagine.

All this leads to a conclusion which is "just try a few lines" to see what best fits your casting action, ability and the rod that you have. Well that's great if you can borrow a lot of lines but not great if you have to buy them to find out.

For what it's worth, as an average angler here's my takeaway for the average caster and for general, do-it-all fishing.

1. If you have a #5 weight rod, buy a true #5 weight line. You can mess around with under and over weighting when you know more about what you're doing

2. Buy a WF line, it can do everything.

3. Buy a line with a decent front taper - say 12+' - this allows good line turnover and less splash.

4. Buy a line with a longish body and back taper as measured beyond the standard 30'. I'd guess at a further 20'. This means that you can aerialise more line if you want to cast further and have the ability to do so while also giving you a line that you can mend on the water and stops any of the hinging effect you'd get with a more shooting head style line.

I'd also add that it seems quite important to know where that critical 30' point is on your line.

Remember, that's the amount of line outside your rod tip that the manufacturer reckons hits the standard for your rod. Anything more or less is overlaying or underlining, so you'd think it would be marked on your line in flashing lights. Measure it out and mark it with a sharpie if your line isn't two-tone. Personally I put another mark 10' further up to that way I see it in my hand too.

If you have a 9' rod, a 12' leader, 30' of line outside the tip plus another 10' or so to shoot, you're casting 61' from your feet. That's almost always more than enough.
 

taffy1

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How do you "mend" a fast sinking line, as in point 4, whether in stillwater or running water? This isn't truly relevant to the title of this thread. Understanding fly lines surely includes all line densities too.

(I'm aware of "reach-casting", mending during the cast delivery).
 

Tangled

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How do you "mend" a fast sinking line, as in point 4, whether in stillwater or running water? This isn't truly relevant to the title of this thread. Understanding fly lines surely includes all line densities too.

That's a reasonable point, the paragraph before makes it clear I'm talking about a WF-#5-F lines. But the difference between a sinker and a floater in casting terms is something we haven't discussed.

I did ask whether people thought a sinker was harder to cast than a floater, but got no answer. Of course my second question would have been why?
 

taffy1

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That's a reasonable point, the paragraph before makes it clear I'm talking about a WF-#5-F lines. But the difference between a sinker and a floater in casting terms is something we haven't discussed.

I did ask whether people thought a sinker was harder to cast than a floater, but got no answer. Of course my second question would have been why?

Point taken re WF#5-f but it applies to all line densities. These are the "terms" to explain to a new angler regarding lines. Casting any line is down to the individual, which will determine if a lesson or two is required. (Understanding Fly Lines.... ;) )
 

Tangled

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Point taken re WF#5-f but it applies to all line densities. These are the "terms" to explain to a new angler regarding lines. Casting any line is down to the individual, which will determine if a lesson or two is required. (Understanding Fly Lines.... ;) )

You didn't answer my question :)
 

morayfisher

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That's a reasonable point, the paragraph before makes it clear I'm talking about a WF-#5-F lines. But the difference between a sinker and a floater in casting terms is something we haven't discussed.

I did ask whether people thought a sinker was harder to cast than a floater, but got no answer. Of course my second question would have been why?
I’m as far removed from being an expert as it’s possible to be on this but...
I think sinking lines are easier to cast than floaters simply due to the fact that they are denser and therefore thinner than the equivalent floater so will cut through the air better.
 

ohanzee

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So which line for which purpose?


- Long front taper turns over flies with delicacy and precision
- Extended head and back taper increases loop control when carrying long lengths of line
- Long head for ultimate casting control
- Front biased weight to load rods at close range

Have you not just nailed it there? what you have is what each part of a head profile does, an anatomy break down in function?

you could continue with the flip side....

- Short front taper turns over leader more positively, bigger flies/into wind etc.
- Short rear taper allows shooting, less line in the air.
- Short head for ...beginners? or short casts?(this might not have a direct opposite)
- Distributed weight to allow longer casts without overloading.
 

Tangled

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Have you not just nailed it there? what you have is what each part of a head profile does, an anatomy break down in function?

Small problem, those are quotes from 3 different RIO lines.
 
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